Continuing my journey, I travelled for 5 hours by bus across to the coast. We stopped for lunch in the town of Inverell and then, having gradually climbed the western slopes to the top of the Tablelands at Glen Innes (1062 metres), we drove down the steep eastern escarpment into the Clarence River Valley and the city of Grafton. No Aboriginal names here. The bus does not stop for sightseeing so I have found a photo online of the Upper Clarence Valley from the Gibraltar Range.
I stayed in a motel near the railway station as I had to leave on the 6.30am train on Friday morning. Therefore I had to walk across the Grafton Bridge to reach the main city. The bridge was opened in 1932 and at that time it was the second largest bridge in Australia, having opened a few months after the much large Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is rather unique in that the top deck is used by motor vehicles and the lower deck by the railway. It use to open for shipping but no longer.
The city population is 16,500. I again used a self-guided tour brochure but think it was meant for driving rather than walking as I have worked out that, even after leaving out some of the sections, I had walked about 12 kilometres and had very sore feet when I got back to the motel that afternoon. It is more scenic than Moree having such a wide river. It is renowned for its jacaranda trees but the jacaranda festival is in late October. There were also some magnificent Fig Trees.
It is a cathedral city and I visited Christ Church Cathedral which was opened and dedicated in 1884. I saw there was to be a Eucharist service at 12.30 for the Feast of the Transfiguration and although I did not hurry I found I had completed the western section of the walk and was back near the cathedral at that time so attended.
A young woman deacon took the service and spoke both on the fact it was Hiroshima day as well as being the Feast of the Transfiguration and we prayed that the world might be transfigured for Peace. It was my first time of being at a Eucharist which used the Reserved Sacrament as this is not allowed in the Sydney Diocese.
On Friday I travelled by the train the 880 km back to Sydney taking 10 hours then again the nearly 2 hours back to the mountains. The lovely warm winter weather I had experienced all week changed to cold winds and showers but luckily I only had the cold winds for my long walk homein the dark from the station.
Today I set off for my usual trip to the city for the service of Eucharist at St James. When I reached the station they were announcing the train was running over 30 minutes late. If I had chosen to drive I would not have been able to park as the City to Surf Race is on today and its starts very close to the church. So I returned home, thankful I had received the Eucharist on Thursday.
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